Vanport, Oregon was a wartime public housing project built to shelter Kaiser Shipyard employees working in Portland and Vancouver, Washington. The city was destroyed in May 1948 when a 200-foot section of the dike holding back the Columbia River collapsed during a flood, killing 15 and leaving its population of largely African-American inhabitants homeless.
Two photo albums regarding the history of Vanport have recently been made available in Special Collections and University Archives. The Vanport, Oregon construction photograph album (PH203_064) and the Vanport, Oregon flood photograph album (PH203_025) document the city before and after the disaster.
Campus societies are a large portion of any university history, older universities such as Harvard or Yale pride themselves on their societies. The men and women who have participated in literary societies historically have found lucrative jobs and connections due to the unique experience that these societies provide to undergraduates. Literary societies were regularly founded in pairs in order to foster competition and growth. This history often brings to mind older institutions on the east coast. However, the University of Oregon is no stranger to the benefits of literary societies on its campus.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Special Collections and University Archives is highlighting the Oregon Women’s Political History Collection.
The Oregon Women’s Political History Collection comprises over a dozen individual manuscript collections. These collections constitute over 200 linear feet of manuscript material and represent women’s political and activist work in Oregon in the latter half of the twentieth century. The collection was started in the 1990s as a collaborative collection development effort among UO Libraries, the Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS), and the Friends of the Oregon Women’s Political History Collection.
The collections include:
Anderson, Jean Fuller Papers (Coll 312) 1978-1990, Finding aid
The activist women represented in these collections worked to increase women’s political engagement in Oregon and empower women to fully participate in elective politics and government agencies at the local, county, and state levels. The story of women’s political work in Oregon in the mid-to-late twentieth century has not been fully told; these primary documents–the sources necessary for the writing of history–are essential to that process. Through support by LSTA funding administered by the Oregon State Library, grant project staff were able to process, catalog, and publish finding aids for these collections and provide access to these collections.
Researchers can find out more about related SCUA collections documenting Women, Gender, and Sexuality in our research guides.
“Salmon are the icon of this place. They are valued as food, as resources, and as a representation of the wildness and wilderness for which the Pacific Northwest is known. Whether they realize it or not, every single person in the Northwest is Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum. We are all Salmon People. Let us all work together to protect and restore salmon—this fish that unites us.”
–The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Commission
In honor of Native American Heritage Month the University of Oregon Libraries is pleased to announce an exhibit titled, Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum: We Are All Salmon People. This exhibit honors Oregon’s tribal communities and their traditional cultures, knowledges and lifeways that have sustained them since time immemorial. We first recognize and honor the Kalapuya people, who were the original indigenous inhabitants of the Willamette Valley, including the land that the University of Oregon resides. We are honored to now have the new residence hall, Kalapuya Ilihi Hall, named in honor of those who were here first and in recognition of their traditional homelands.
All of Oregon’s tribal communities share a common connection to their traditional homelands and natural resources provided by the creator that sustains life for their people. This exhibit highlights the tribal cultures along the Columbia River Basin that have a distinct sacred connection to salmon that has shaped their culture, diet, societies and religions for thousands of years. Salmon, or “wy-kan-ush” in the traditional language of Sahaptin, are revered as sacred and one of the most important aspects of tribal culture.
Special Collections and University Archives has recently added to its collections a manumission written in 1801 by Moses Hall of Nicholas County, Kentucky. This manuscript document is a contract stating that Hall will free Dinah, a black female slave, when she reaches her 23rd birthday in five months (March 10, 1802).
Manumission was the act of freeing a slave by a slave owner, through a deed or will. This act of an individual contrasts with a governmental directive to free slaves, such as the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln in 1863. Manumission in the United States was done for a variety of reasons, ranging from a sentimental gesture to a method of incentivizing obedience at the prospect of eventual freedom. However, the practice became increasingly regulated in order to limit the population of freed black residents in the colonies starting in Virginia in 1691 when a law was passed that required freed slaves to leave the colony within six months and for the previous slave owner to pay for the trip.